UPDATE: Tyson Gay speaks publicly for first time about daughter’s shooting death

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Olympian Tyson Gay speaks publicly about his daughter's murder for the first time at a vigil held at Lafayette High School

LEXINGTON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Monday night Olympian Tyson Gay spoke publicly for the first time about his daughter Trinity’s death. His speech came at an emotional vigil at Lafayette High School where Gay asked the people of Lexington to stop the violence.

The big message at that vigil was this never should have happened to Gay nor to any other child.

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Gay’s family accepted hugs from her friends, knowing they will never be able to hug their own daughter again.

At least a thousand or more people lit candles on the football field and released balloons into the air. Tyson Gay spoke first, thanking everyone around the world for all the support they have offered.

He shared that Shaquille O’Neal called him as he drove to the vigil to offer condolences. He emphasized repeatedly he does not want to read about another Lexington murder in the paper again.

“Always protect each other no matter what. That’s what Trinity would’ve wanted, period. She was a happy girl all the time. She would’ve wanted God, check each other, love each other, have fun. Just love,” Gay said.

A makeshift memorial outside Lafayette High School continued to grow Monday. It includes track shoes. Gay was becoming a track star just like her father.

Two of Gay’s friends tell ABC 36 they were just hanging out together the night Gay was shot. They described their laughter as Trinity judged a singing competition amongst friends. Then shots flew by.

One of Trinity’s friends was outside with her.

“She’s like, ‘Taylor, I’m shot! I’m shot!’ But at first I was like black, like I couldn’t see straight at all. I didn’t believe it either, then she turns around and when she turns around it’s like blood just pouring, just pouring that’s when I’m like, ‘oh my god. What do we do? What do we do?’…I grab her and I’m shaking her and I’m like Trinity come on stay with me, stay with me. I’m not letting this happen, not with me right here. We’re going to get you to this hospital and we were flying trying to get to the nearest hospital,” Taylor Middleton said.

They did make it to the hospital, but police say Gay died early Sunday morning.

Many people are wondering why a 15-year-old was out so late. Again, her friends say they were just hanging out. One of the speakers at the vigil said the question people really should be asking is why were people shooting?

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Veronica Jean Seltzer joins ABC 36 as Anchor/Reporter. On most weekdays, you will see her reporting the news. VJ hails from a small horse farm outside New York City and most recently comes from South Bend, Indiana where she reported for the CBS and Fox affiliates. VJ holds a Master of Science in Journalism degree from Columbia University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Tufts University. Her passion for journalism runs deep. It began as she studied graffiti as an ancient form of communication in Athens, Greece. While a student journalist in Morocco, she learned her most important journalistic lesson: good stories are about people. VJ loves life in and around Lexington. She feels most at home among horses and a diverse community of fascinating people. She enjoys reporting during the week and on the weekend she strives to bring her neighbors the news that matters most to them. VJ enjoys going to neighborhood events, exploring, horseback riding, skiing, sailing, and good movies. Look for her out and about in the community! VJ invites you to reach out to her with story ideas or just to say hello! Find her on Facebook at Veronica Jean Seltzer ABC 36, tweet her @VJS_ABC36, or email her at VSeltzer@wtvq.com. She looks forward to hearing from you!